KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of football fans will soon descend on Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft.
For those visiting for the first time, or even those who live in the region, there are dozens of attractions, businesses, restaurants and more worth seeing during draft weekend.
We’ll highlight some of the best sights to see around the NFL Draft sight — plus a few attractions a little farther away, but still worth the drive.
Here are 10 Kansas City sights you don’t want to miss:
National WWI Museum & Memorial
If you’re coming to the NFL Draft, you’ll be steps away from the National World War I Museum and Memorial, one of Kansas City’s most popular landmarks.
The museum touts the most comprehensive WWI collection and over two million people have visited.
The National WWI Museum will have normal hours and operations through April 23. Then the attraction will be closed Monday, April 24, through Wednesday, April 26, to prepare for the draft.
The WWI Museum and Memorial will reopen during the draft with hours varying depending on the day. A $20 wristband will get you into the museum and memorial for the day; kids 5 and under are free.
There will also be plenty of NFL Draft events going on memorial grounds. The NFL Fan Experience will be held on the lawn of the WWI Museum and Memorial.
Draft prospects will walk the NFL Draft Red Carpet starting around 4:45 p.m. Thursday on the Memorial Courtyard.
Free concerts are planned following each day of the draft. Details haven’t been released yet about specific shows, but shows are first-come, first-served basis on the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
But be prepared if you want to visit the museum and memorial during the draft. There will be no parking available on the grounds starting at 5 p.m. April 23 through May 2. Take advantage of public transit or other public parking.
Like the WWI Museum, if you’re coming to the NFL Draft site, you’ll be right outside Kansas City’s historic Union Station.
Union Station opened over 100 years ago and still continues today as an operational train station and a historical and educational hub.
As of mid-April, all restaurants, attractions and businesses at Union Station remain open, but several streets and parking lots around the building are closed. The West Yard Garage remains open to access Union Station before the draft.
Union Station leaders said some attractions inside might have to close right before the draft, but Science City will likely stay open until the day before the draft begins. Once the NFL Draft starts, businesses inside Union Station will close.
Union Station stresses plans are fluid, and leaders will provide updates on hours, access and parking on its website.
Power & Light District
Just a quick ride on the streetcar, Kansas City’s Power & Light District has plenty of concert and entertainment plans during the NFL Draft.
Some events are free, while tickets are needed for others. There is also an age restriction in place for certain events at the Power & Light District.
The day before the draft starts, former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green is hosting a house party at P&L benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities. Several current and former Chiefs players will be present.
Power & Light also plans to have the NFL Draft airing on its massive outdoor screen, along with plenty of murals and photo opportunities, giveaways, contests and more.
All KC Live venues will be open Wednesday through Saturday of draft week until 2 a.m. Restaurants will open as early as 11 a.m. each day while bars and clubs will open later.
Just a short walk away from the NFL Draft site, Crown Center has several attractions great for families.
The shopping center has unique businesses like Halls Kansas City, Crayola and Toy Time. Visitors can also grab a bite at restaurants like Unforked, Burnt End BBQ and Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant.
Explore the SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center or Kaleidoscope for more family fun and adventures. You can also catch a show at The Coterie children’s theater.
There’s also parking available at Crown Center if you want to spend part of your day there then head over to the NFL Draft.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art features over 34,500 pieces from nearly every continent and culture — plus its free to enter. You could easily visit this beloved Kansas City art museum for several days and always see something new.
While admission is free, non-members are currently required to make a reservation to ensure the museum keeps a safe capacity.
If you want to enjoy some fresh air, don’t miss the iconic shuttlecocks on the Nelson-Atkins lawn or test your skills on the art-inspired mini golf course.
The Nelson-Atkins also has two restaurants and gift shop.
Country Club Plaza
The historic Country Club Plaza is one of Kansas City’s most popular shopping and entertainment districts.
The area features over 100 shops and restaurants including well-known local businesses like Charlie Hustle, Made in Kansas City, Jack Stack Barbecue and The Granfalloon, among many others.
The Plaza is also known for its stunning Spanish architecture and numerous fountains, sculptures and murals.
During the NFL Draft, several Plaza businesses will have special offers and events going on, including watch parties.
Right on the Kansas City Streetcar route, the City Market features the largest regional farmers market on weekends.
Visitors will also find eclectic shops like KC Soda Co. and Dutch Flowers, plus local restaurants like Pigwich, Brown & Loe, Minsky’s and more.
Then step back in time and soak in some local history at the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
The Arabia Steamboat sank in the Missouri River in 1856, while carrying more than 200 tons of cargo. The treasure was later found buried in a Kansas field.
It’s easy to reach the City Market by riding the free Kansas City Streetcar, then take a ride south down to the NFL Draft.
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Just a short walk from the NFL Draft site, Boulevard Brewing Co. is one of Kansas City’s most popular businesses. Since it began in 1989, it’s grown to be the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.
Make sure you take a tour of the facility or enjoy a drink and games on the Rec Deck.
Craft beer fans love brews like Boulevard Wheat, Tank 7 and KC Pils or check out Boulevard’s Quirk canned cocktails.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
One of the crown jewels of Kansas City, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is frequently named among the top places to visit in the city.
The museum is full of exhibits, artifacts and photographs to help visitors learn more about the Negro Leagues and its impact on baseball and culture.
It’s also a stop along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail and has won a number of awards since it was founded in 1990.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is less than a 10-minute drive from the NFL Draft site and well worth it if you want to soak up some history in the 18th & Vine Jazz District.
Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is about a 20-minute drive from the NFL Draft site, but it’s a great place for people of all ages to spend a day.
See animals from all across the globe — including the kangaroos in Australia, the elephants in Africa, the Penguin Plaza and Stingray Bay.
If you want to add to the experience, take a ride on the KC Zoo Railroad, African Tram or African Sky Safari.
Parking is free at the Kansas City Zoo, or you can hop on a Ride KC bus to the zoo.